Defense Business Briefing -- Nov. 9, 2021

Welcome to today's Defense Business Briefing, your weekly roundup of the latest defense industry news.

This week's top story

Reed sees challenges in defense contractor consolidation

Senate Armed Services Committee Chairman Jack Reed (D-RI) recently cited increased merger and acquisition activity among large defense contractors as a key challenge to reforming Pentagon acquisition.

News & notes

Viasat to acquire Inmarsat in $7.3B transaction

Viasat Inc. announced it will acquire Inmarsat, and the two global satellite communications companies have reached a definitive agreement for the deal, valued at $7.3 billion. 

Kratos makes plans for second Valkyrie production lot

As Kratos continues working to complete its 12 Valkyrie drones tied to its first production lot and make deliveries to the Air Force, company officials are formulating plans for a second batch of the aircraft next year.

HII: Unmanned contract awards delayed until next year

Contract awards for "critical" unmanned programs will likely be delayed until next year, according to a senior Huntington Ingalls Industries executive.

AZ Army supplier implemented vaccine mandate with minor pushback

St. Clair Technologies, a tier two Army supplier in Chandler, AZ, has been able to vaccinate nearly all its employees against the coronavirus this year without significant employee pushback, although a few employees chose to leave the company over the issue, according to a company official.

White House relaxes vaccine mandates, pushes back contractor deadline

The White House has announced new policies to loosen COVID-19 vaccine mandates that had previously drawn concern from defense contractors facing reluctant workforces and lawmakers who said they were worried about the Pentagon’s industrial base.

Promotions & appointments

Hagen named president of HII's cyber, EW business group

Huntington Ingalls Industries announced Grant Hagen has been named president of the Cyber and Electronic Warfare business group within the company's Technical Solutions division.

Teledyne FLIR appoints Bulik as VP of UAS

Anne Bulik has been named vice president of Teledyne FLIR's unmanned aerial systems business unit, the company announced last week.

What's happening

The week ahead

Senior defense officials and analysts speak at events on cyber and Afghanistan this week.

For Inside Defense subscribers

Congress doubles down on development of new, non-ballistic PrSM capabilities

Lawmakers want the Army to begin work immediately on maneuvering submunitions for long-range precision fires while also backing a service proposal for a new project to develop a maneuvering variant of a surface-to-surface missile -- effectively doubling down on efforts to add non-ballistic capabilities to the register of planned Precision Strike Missile improvements.

Major changes to CMMC program start discussion on DOD oversight of accreditation body

The Defense Department is making changes to the oversight of its independent accreditation body as part of an update to the Cybersecurity Maturity Model Certification program, dubbed "CMMC 2.0," triggering new negotiations of the current no-cost contract between the two entities.